introducing readers to writers since 1995

February 07, 2005

Thank Heaven for Literary Girls

by Ron Hogan

I spent my Friday night on the Lower East Side, at the anarcho-feminist bookstore collective Bluestockings (if I exaggerate, I do it with solidarity and love) at the invitation of Lauren Cerand, who's doing some publicity for two great emerging women writers. One of them, Quinn Dalton, came up to town from North Carolina because she has an essay in Sex and Sensibility and the publisher was having a book party. So Lauren decides that as long as Quinn's in town, she'll get her a reading, even if her collection of short stories, Bulletproof Girl, isn't out for a few more months. And let me tell you, the store was packed.

Quinn read the short story "Back on Earth," which interweaves a young woman's recovery from rape with her following of the Mir space station accident on television news, and her self-identification with one of the American astronauts. Then the second author, Elizabeth Merrick, who cohosts the Cupcake reading series with Lauren, read the final chapter of her novel, Girly, a downbeat ending to a mother-daughter story that was "kind of heavy for a Friday night," she admitted, but she knew it was the part she had to read. She'll be publishing the novel this spring, with a new indie press of her own creation called Demimonde Books; the imprint doesn't have a website yet, but when it does, I'll get her in here to tell you more.

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